If McCain is recanting his Keating Five confession then he’s recanting his entire status as a reformer

Ben Smith weighs in on the shocking news that McCain is now saying the Keating Five investigation was a set-up, a witch hunt, a partisan smear job, and that he did nothing wrong. But if mcCain did nothing wrong, then why did he admit all these years to making a giant mistake during the Keating Five fiasco, a mistake that supposedly made McCain the maverick he is today? Or was McCain’s giant mistake admitting guilt and taking ownership of his character flaws?

From Ben at Politico:

I’d always thought McCain’s great strength in defending the Keating affair was that he’d acknolwedged making a huge mistake, and spent his career repenting by recasting himself as a reformer.

So when his campaign puts his lawyer on the line with reporters to contest the details of a congressional inquiry that, largely, let McCain off the hook, doesn’t that cloud the sin-confession-atonement dynamic a bit?

In Halperin’s account, McCain lawyer John Dowd described McCain’s “former relationship with Charles Keating as ‘social friends,'” and called the situation a “classic political smear job on John.”

Dowd also “thinks that the committee went too far in suggesting that McCain’s intervention with regulators was poor judgment,” Halperin writes.

But if so, what’s this giant mistake that transformed McCain into a reformer?

And as Ben noted earlier, McCain’s Keating Five admission is the ENTIRE basis of his maverick brand:

[I]n his 2002 autobiography, “the worst mistake of my life.” He remade himself as a reformer in reaction to the scandal. McCain’s case isn’t that you should ignore his sin, or that it isn’t a sin; it’s that he’s expiated it.

Not any more. It’s George Bush all over again. Don’t own up to anything. Deny everything. There are no facts that can’ be disputed – even 20 year old facts that you’ve already copped to. Amazing.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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